Senate Election - Time to Pick a Side

Last week, with the primary election cycle nearing its end, I started a conversation on BlueNC which I hope to bring here as well on how to make the difficult decision of deciding between good democrats in this primary election...  how to draw a line and pick a side.  And I gave the 3 campaigns some guidance on what I hoped to see in terms of taking stands on issues, and clarifying stands that have already been taken.  I wanted to see not only what campaigns will say among friends when they speak on, or, or, or BlueNC Radio, or through direct messages on facebook, or in person at the Orange County Democratic Party Convention that I attended over the weekend, but also what they will say to the whole electorate by means of their website.  Based on a number of factors, including what they're willing to say to the whole electorate, I find myself ready to pick, support, and endorse a side.  

The debate will be on NBC17 on Wednesday and early voting starts on Thursday of this week so decision time really is right now.  I invite those of you have who have made up your minds regardless of the candidate, and want to share some guidance about how you got there, to jump in too!


Elaine Live Blogging at Pam's House Blend

I’ve just invited about 500+ of my closest facebook friends to the Elaine Marhsall facebook page. As someone who started out leaning towards Cal (he had my vote in all those early online BlueNC polls), I’m a little surprised to find myself in the Elaine camp. But her campaign has proven to be very responsive, she’s taken the strongest position gay rights, has proven to hold on to the lead in the polls against Burr, and will really be able to take Burr to task on his vote for domestic violence as a pre-existing condition, and his vote against the anti-rape amendment, not to mention the fact that his response to the recession was to do a bank-run. I've followed the campaigns closely, seen Elaine & Cal speak in person, and wont rule out changing my mind until after I've seen the debate & see if there are any more issues section updates to campaign websites. But with the strongest candidate in the polls also being the best candidate on the issues (as their issues sections stand right now) I find myself now an Elaine Marshall supporter.

Viability was definitely a concern of mine. But looking at Public Policy Polling from as recently as a few weeks ago I'm not to worried (especially now that I hear they have TV ads on their way):

Burr vs. Cunningham - Burr (R) 43% Cunningham (D) 32%
Burr vs. Lewis - Burr (R) 43% Lewis (D) 32%
Burr vs. Marshall Burr (R) 41% - Marshall (D) 36%

Even the conservative Rasmussen polls I've seen suggest Elaine has better name recognition and polls better against Burr. And I think the that hurdle is probably the highest for any candidate to jump over. There are a lot of things I like about the Cunningham Campaign, I kind of wish we could have 3 Senators from NC, and if Cal wins the primary, I'll have his back 100%. I know Cal has a history of supporting Voter Owned Elections, that he supports repealing DADT, and that he & Ken are infinitely better suited to represent NC than Burr, so I'm going to be happy about the outcome of this primary regardless of who wins. And Holly Lewis, Cal, and Elaine all made solid speeches at the Orange County Democratic Party Convention over the weekend.  But right now I'm seeing Elaine as both better on the issues, and best in the polls, so unless I see some changes in the next few days, I'll be supporting Elaine.


 NBC17, League Of Women Voters Of N.C. To Host Statewide U.S. Senate
Democratic Candidate Debate 

The studios of NBC17 will transform into a debate hall April 14 as
the station teams up with the League of Women Voters of North Carolina
to present a live debate among the state's Democratic candidates for
U.S. Senate.
The 90-minute debate is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be
broadcast across the state. WNCN (NBC17) will also live stream the
debate on MyNC.Com as well as offering the live stream to other news Web
sites across the state.
Democratic candidates scheduled to participate in the debate include
Elaine Marshall, James "Cal" Cunningham, Ken Lewis, Marcus Williams and
Ann Worthy. All candidates are on the May 4, 2010, primary election

   I also wanted to take a moment to compare the issues sections of Elaine and Cal.  Largely I feel they aren't very far apart on many issues and that they both stand far away from incumbent Senator Burr, so I'd have no problem supporting either of them in Novemember.   But here are a few places where they do stand apart.  Cal Cunningham is against ending DADT, but one could not find that out by going to the issues section of his website.  If you go to Elaine's issue section looking for LGBT issues, you'd find this, the most extensive section in terms of taking positions on specific legislative efforts out of any of the campaigns: 

Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – Elaine believes
that if people are willing to serve, then we should honor them. Signing
up to join the United States military is one of the most courageous
things anyone can do, and as U.S. Senator she would fully support the
repeal of this outdated policy. If someone is willing to fight for our
country, we should not ask them to lie about who they are.
Doing away with the “Defense of Marriage Act” –
Elaine believes it is not the Federal government’s job to discriminate
against anybody including when it comes to sexual orientation. As U.S.
Senator, Elaine would support the repeal of DOMA and fight to restore
the idea of equality for all Americans.
Enacting the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” –
Elaine believes that all Americans have the right to live and work
without fear of being themselves. As U.S. Senator, Elaine would support
the passing of ENDA to end LGBT discrimination.
Enacting the “United American Families Act” – Elaine
believes that all consenting partners deserve the right to be with one
another. As U.S. Senator, Elaine would support the enactment of UAFA
legislation, which would allow all bi-national married couples the same
immigration rights extended to heterosexual couples.
Respect for all Americans – Elaine understands that
many of these issues can be contentious and used by politicians to
divide people. As U.S. Senator, Elaine will not only fight to give
equality to all Americans, but will strive to keep the debate civil and
honest and not allow politicians to demagogue Americans for political

 And as I gather from Mark Marcoplos, she is the stronger anti-war candidate as well.And then there is viability in the polls.  Public Policy Polling release new information yesterday saying:

61% of primary voters have no opinion about
Marshall. For Lewis that's 80% and for Cunningham it's 85%. 

Granted those numbers aren't pretty for anyone, but Elaine is still ahead of the game here.  And of course in 2008 she got more votes in our state than did Obama, Perdue, or Hagan, & others so she’s got some bipartisan name recognition going for her.

To answer your first question Jake, I was having trouble deciding myself, but after the OCDP Convention this weekend I found that I just liked Elaine Marshall - her manner/delivery/friendliness and found Cal Cunningham to be artificial and sort of slick. I also think Sec. Marshall's views are more in line with mine.And your second question - I hope to watch some of the Senate candidate debate tonight, but am going to one of the Orange County Candidate forums too.  

Actually Cunningham and Lewis are proponents of the Afghan war, i.e. they are pro-war.  I recently had an opportunity to speak with Ken Lewis and I gave him a copy of "The Limits of Power" by Andrew Bacevich. It's an extraordinary book that explains U.S. foreign policy and its repeated failures to improve global security or positively impact American citizens, all at enormous cost.

to the same candidate.  Anyone else want to speak up for a candidate? Debate is happening live right now on NBC17 and on


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